To Go Easy

Ahhhh, Sunday morning. And it finally feels like summer here in the North East. Although more rain is due to arrive, I’ll take this morning’s sunshine and the inspiration that arrived with it.

I’m reading Yes, Chef, the memoir of Ethiopian born, Swedish adopted, Marcus Samuelsson, which has me inspired in the kitchen.  This morning I’m baking these Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins and finally trying the Ginger Syrup recipe a friend gave to me.  She’d brought me a mason jar full of the syrup last summer and ever since I poured out the last drop, I’ve been intent on making a batch of my own.  I used the syrup to make homemade ginger ale, pouring club soda over an ounce or so of the syrup, and I loved a bit of the syrup poured over my morning steel cut oats.  Here is the recipe my friend sent if you want to give it a try.

Ginger Syrup

In a medium saucepan, combine 2 c. sugar, 2 c. water, and 2 c. peeled fresh ginger, cut into coin-sized pieces.

Bring to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar.

Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 8 minutes or until mixture is a thin syrup consistency.

Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, 2-3 hours.

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve; discard ginger.

Refrigerate syrup in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

After my time spent in the kitchen this morning, I poured myself another cream-laden cup of coffee and climbed back in bed with a book of Mary Oliver’s poetry.  From her book, Thirst, I’ve read this one poem over and over again and just had to share it with you.  Each time I read it, my eyes widen and my skin tingles, pondering the possibility that life could be so profound in its simplicity.  I’m going to print it out and hang it on the wall next to my bed.



When I Am Among the Trees

by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

May we all go easy and be filled with light.

And what are you up to on this Sunday morning? Do you have cherished Sunday morning rituals?  Does that poem resonate with you? Are there particular poems you love?

Wishing you a Happy Day!


Write to Heal

I had the honor to write over on Preemie Babies 101 this week.  I hope you’ll check it out, especially if you’ve ever thought about doing a little writing.  (The post is geared to preemie parents, but it’s really applicable to all.)

“Whether your baby was in the NICU for 2 days or 200, the result of having a birth experience begin in the midst of  noisy beeping machines, a multitude of doctors and nurses, and the palpable fear that persistently swirls in the NICU air, the impact can have long-lasting effects on us as parents.  The problem is, we’re so busy taking care of our new little ones, we have no time to recognize and acknowledge how significant our baby’s birth has been on our emotional state.  We’re simply trying to survive this crazy world that’s suddenly been thrust upon us and hoping and praying the same holds true for our babies.

As our babies heal and grow and eventually arrive at home, it seems there is even less time to explore our emotional state, for now our little one is under our care alone.  The concept of taking time for ourselves is nearly laughable.  Sit down? Reflect upon how I’m feeling? Yeah right.

But here’s the deal. At some point we do have to sit down and reflect upon our thoughts, feelings, and emotions, because if we don’t, they  just breed and fester way down deep in the dark recesses where we’ve tucked them away.  And by bringing our buried fears, hopes, dreams, disappointments and truths to the light, we are in fact helping our child to heal and grow as well.  A healthy, whole parent is one of the greatest gifts we can offer to our children.

So where do I begin?”

Click on this link to find out!  Write to Heal

I hope your summer is off to a wonderful start and you’re finding moments to rest, relax and breathe.

With blessings,



Ok, to everyone who told me I’d be crazy not to jump at the chance to take the kids and join Lee on a business trip to London – YOU WERE RIGHT!

It has been three truly magical days, full of unforgettable moments I hope will be forever seared in the kid’s memory banks.  They certainly will be in mine!

We arrived Monday morning and soon after checking in the hotel, explored the nearby Covent Garden where we watched street performers and the kids indulged in banana and Nutella crepes.  After long afternoon naps, we headed to Piccadilly Circus and toured Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum. The kids were utterly thrilled to see the Believe it or Not books they’ve so frequently checked out of the library come to life!

Most of Tuesday was spent on top of a red double decker bus touring the city.  We caught the bus in Trafalgar Square and saw every London highlight you can imagine – St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London, Hyde Park and Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, just to name a few.  It was a whirlwind of a day, but a great way for the kids to take in so many sights in such a short period of time.

Looking through the gates of Buckingham Palace.

Looking through the gates of Buckingham Palace.

Today, Lee headed off to work at 7:00 this morning and while the kids were zonked out in the hotel room, I stood on a bridge overlooking The Thames, sipping a latte, chuckling over the fact that I was ever debating about taking this trip! (Again, YOU WERE RIGHT!).

And talk about jumping in with both feet… today I was really out of my comfort zone when the kids convinced (begged) me to ride The London Eye, which is the world’s largest Ferris wheel. I won’t even go on a Ferris wheel at our local fair, but there I was, in a glass enclosed bubble hundreds of feet in the air above London.  That time, it was the kids to whom I had to say, YOU WERE RIGHT!

Since arriving, we’ve been hearing that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the hottest ticket in town and knew it was true when we found out tickets were sold out until next week.  But with a bit of luck this morning, I stopped at the theater, which is right behind our hotel, only to learn that a few tickets had been returned and we had seats in the royal circle section of the balcony.  I truly, truly can’t begin to describe what an experience this musical was.  Unlike the movie, it followed Raold Dahl’s book much more closely and was so incredibly well done, including a larger-than-life chocolate waterfall, giant dancing squirrels and a glass elevator, I’m worried nothing in the future will ever compare for the kids!  Sitting in the dark theater, with Tucker on one side and Andie on the other, when Willy Wonka began singing Pure Imagination, I felt transported back to my own childhood and couldn’t hold back the tears. (Thank you, Becky and Rob.  You insisted the kids would love London theater and YOU WERE RIGHT!)


(click on the photo to hear the song)

After leaving the theater, Tuck went back up to the hotel room and Andie and I walked out onto the same bridge where I began my day to see London lit up at night. “I miss it here already,” Andie said, knowing that tomorrow we pack up our suitcases and head out to our friend’s house in the country, before flying home Friday afternoon.

“Me, too,” I told her. “Me, too.”


Love, Gratitude and Jumping in with Both Feet (plus a giveaway!)

Remember that girl who was afraid to travel to Colorado for a ski vacation?

Well, that same girl, just got back from a week in Charleston, South Carolina!

It was actually Tucker who took me there.  Well, his 8th grade class trip, to be more precise.

His class, who’s been together with the same teacher since 1st grade (Waldorf School), has been fundraising for ages in anticipation of the trip.  A handful of parents, including me, went along as chaperones.  I really didn’t want to go, ‘cause as you already know, I don’t like to travel.  But neither does Tuck, so when I reluctantly offered to go along as a chaperone, his whole attitude toward the trip changed.

There were so many highlights throughout the week – touring historic downtown Charleston, swimming and playing at the beach, canoeing through the coastal salt marshes – but for me, one moment stands out above all the rest. That moment came when another mom on the trip commented on my relationship with Tucker.  “I never knew you two were so devoted to each other,” she said.  She pointed out the moments throughout the week when Tuck would part from his friends to come over my way and give my hand a squeeze or drape his arm over my shoulder.  “It’s truly lovely,” she said, “to see a boy so in love with his mom.”   I’d fly back to South Carolina once a week just to hear that again.  It really came as such a surprise, first of all, because I’ve never looked at my relationship with Tuck through the eyes of another, but more importantly, as he’s moved into serious adolescence, there’ve been times when I was certain he didn’t even like me, let alone love me.  I’m not sure if it was that comment, or living in the midst of 31 other people for a week, sleeping on the top of a bunk bed, waiting in line for the bathroom, cramming into big white passenger vans to get here, there, and everywhere, but something cracked open in me during that week and I’ve arrived home brimming with joy and gratitude, knowing that when I take chances, when I choose to jump in with both feet, rather that letting fear talk me into staying at home, amazing things can happen.


On that note, we just found out that Lee has to travel to London for business the day after Tucker graduates, and in spite of the need for expedited passports, expensive plane fares and my clenched-up belly, we’re jumping in with both feet and the kids and I going along with him.  (We’ll have traveled more in the past 5 months than we have in the past 10 years!)  I can do this, right?

The final thing I wanted to mention is that last week, May 29th, was the one-year anniversary of the release of my book, Preemie.  I wanted to do something special in honor of this anniversary, so I’ve decided to offer one of my favorite chapters, Chapter 6 – Trains, as a free download.  I hope you enjoy it and please pass it along to others.

Please accept my deepest gratitude and appreciation for all the love and support you’ve shown Preemie and me throughout the past year.  I am honored and so delighted to know that our story is out there in the world helping others to heal.

Click on the photo below for your free download of Chapter 6 from Preemie!

With love and blessings,



Click on Photo to download Chapter 6 – “Trains”